The struggle to stay home

Dear friends and allies,

Events in the news this week ranging from the increase in COVID-19 rates to national disputes over mail-in voting and the ruling to cut the U.S. Census count short make clear the importance of having elected leaders committed to looking out for us, our families, and our communities.

Locally, we have another threat looming. Governor Baker’s eviction moratorium ends tomorrow, leaving thousands of families stranded without homes. Our leadership’s inaction is dismal, and Governor Baker’s announcement to pump $171 million into programs for housing assistance is nothing more than a “drop in the bucket.”

Our partners are leading the fight to secure healthy homes for all. Along with City Life/Vida Urbana and Homes for All, we’re fighting to make sure our elected officials put the interests of workers and our families first. As a part of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance (MCRA), we helped organize an October 14 march to Governor Charlie Baker’s house to demand that the Governor pledge to support and sign the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act

Now more than ever, the human right to safe, affordable, stable, and dignified housing is connected to health, education, child care, worker rights, civil rights, racial justice, civic engagement and environmental justice. Housing disruptions are having a disproportionate impact on working class families and essential workers, including teachers and child care providers. We are proud of all our partners for showing up for this fight and joining their voices. 

More than 100 committed housing activists marched to Gov. Charlie Baker’s home to call on him to support more robust protections against evictions and foreclosures during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Please help us continue the fight by sharing our Facebook posts as well as following and retweeting us on Twitter. You can also receive regular updates from CLU by signing up on our website.

Congratulations to Alicia Fleming on her promotion to the Co-Executive Director of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice (JWJ). Before her promotion, Alicia was the organization’s Western Massachusetts Coordinator. Together, with Lily Huang, they will be a women of the color-led executive team with a majority Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) staff. Massachusetts JWJ has been our tremendous partner over the past years, and we’re proud to support their work, staff, and new leadership, just as they have supported our fights.

New Policy Alert: Unemployment Assistance for Workers with Child Care Challenges

The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has come out with a new policy enabling those who cannot work due to caregiving responsibilities to be eligible for state unemployment assistance. Under its new policy:

  1. Workers can refuse work if the job poses a substantial risk to the health or safety of the worker, the worker’s child, a member of the worker’s immediate family or household member, or the worker’s health or safety would be compromised due to an underlying medical or other condition if the worker accepted the job. 
  2. Workers can be eligible for a COVID-19 related reason if their child or another person requires the workers’ full time care and no other care is available due to the pandemic.

Read the details here for more information.

Contact your legislators for the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act!
HELP WIN THE GUARANTEED HOUSING STABILITY ACT – HD.5018 in the Massachusetts State House. Tens of thousands of families across Massachusetts will be at risk of eviction when our State’s eviction moratorium expires tomorrow. This bill will prevent a massive surge of unjust evictions and foreclosures due to COVID-related debt, avoid hikes of rent and no-fault evictions as we recover from COVID-19, and help establish a Housing Stability & Recovery Fund to relieve small business owners. Here is how you can take action:

Halt Misguided Service Cuts to the MBTA

At the MBTA/Department of Transportation meeting on Monday, October 19, riders and T workers are coming together to speak out against a rushed MBTA plan for deep service cuts that endanger the future of public transit in our region. You can tell the Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) your transit story: How would YOU be affected by deep cuts that could include the elimination of late night and early morning service, long waits between trains and buses, and some routes cut entirely?

Before it makes deep cuts, let the T know that it must have a meaningful public input process and seek progressive revenues from the Massachusetts legislature and federal government. To make your voice heard, leave a voice message comment by calling 857-368-1655 and leaving a message by 11 a.m. Monday, October 19. This is a recorded line, so you can get any time.

Envisioning Equity Part III: Reimagining the Criminal Legal System
October 20, 2020
4 -5 p.m.
Register online

MassBudget is hosting Envisioning Equity, a series of community conversations examining how our state budget can help build economic and racial justice in Massachusetts. 

Join MassBudget and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a virtual conversation featuring exploring the state of the Commonwealth’s police and carceral systems during COVID-19 and beyond. Featuring:

  • Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County District Attorney
  • Leon Smith, Executive Director, Citizens for Juvenile Justice
  • Andrea James, Executive Director, Families for Justice as Healing
  • Co-Host Rahsaan D. Hall, Director of the Racial Justice Program, ACLU Massachusetts
  • Co-Host Marie-Frances Rivera, President, MassBudget

Thank you for reading and taking action!

In Solidarity,
Community Labor United

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